Examples of Helpful Interview Reports

The rating is a useful tool for us to evaluate the students. Though it can be difficult to sum up an individual into a number, for statistical reasons, it is helpful for us to have a numerical rating in the system. It is important to back up your rating with your comments, so keep in mind what the scale means, and protect your credibility by only using the higher ratings for the strongest applicants. Over time, we have found the majority of students fall into the 4 category, which is a perfectly pleasant but not unusual interview. We have a handful of 7’s and 6’s, a fair number of 5’s and 3’s and few 2’s and 1’s. In your comments, feel free to add a plus or minus if you feel that this is appropriate. Also, keep in mind that Middlebury is not always every student’s first choice, and this should not alter the rating that you give them.

Overall Rating: 7

Alumni Interviewer Report Form

Candidate's Name: XXXX

Interview Type: Video Conference

1. THE APPLICANT

Warm, concerned citizen, intelligent, thinker, unique, global. XXXX has a naturally kind and curious manner. She and I Skyped for about 45 minutes. I wish there were better words to describe this applicant other than highly intelligent and would be an amazing addition to Middlebury. The interaction I had with her is hard to describe simply because her responses just blew me away. She has a natural curiosity about the world that was honest and hopeful. Her life experiences in the short time that she has been on the planet have given her an education that most people her age would never receive. She spoke from her experiences with compassion and understanding. She has an incredibly grounded view of her standing in the world and how her life impacts others.

2. ACADEMIC/INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES

XXXX has a voracious appetite for learning. She was eager to tell me about how she would study Geography when she gets to Middlebury. She told me that she is fascinated about Geography especially after living in so many countries growing up. She was born in XXXX, raised for six years in XXXX, then moved to XXXX and now lives in XXXX with her family (mother is XXXX, Father is XXXX). She is particularly interested in human connections and understanding, "why we are the way we are based on geography and human boundaries". In addition to geography, she is interested in development economics. She mentioned that if she could do anything in the world that she would want to have the opportunity to travel around the world and find unique and interesting places. She wants to travel to also understand how other people value life, culture and material items based on where they grow up. She is particularly interested in religion, values and economics. She said that she loves her econ class and that living in XXXX has given her first-hand experience in understanding the wealth gap. It is clear that XXXX thinks quite deeply about the world and her place in it and how she fits in. She already has the beginnings of a senior thesis in her hands(!).

3. EXTRACURRICULAR

XXXX speaks three languages, Spanish, English and Chinese. She feels fortunate to have parents who instilled in her the love of travel at such a young age. She loves to travel and frequently does so with her family because her father is a journalist. We did not talk much about her extracurricular activities. The focus of the conversation was on what unique experiences she has gained that she could contribute to Middlebury. I am giving her an outstanding in the extracurricular area even though I'm not sure of what they are simply because she is absolutely an outstanding young woman and would be a perfect fit at Midd.

4. ADDITIONAL QUALITIES

I asked XXXX why I would want to be her roommate and she said that she loves decorating. It was nice to hear her non academic voice shine through. She envisions a really cool room that she and her roommate could design together. She would be interested in sharing her love of music and movies and said how cool it would be to find someone who would want to go to an art gallery. Her sister graduated from XXXX a few years ago and is now an architect in XXXX. She told me that her mother was given the opportunity to study in the XXXX when she was a young girl growing up under the control of the XXXX so her mother is fluent in XXXX as well as English and Spanish. XXXX attended elementary school in XXXX and a large part of her soul belongs in XXXX. She said that it was interesting growing up with such a high level of patriotism. She has a deep understanding of the XXXX perspective and is interested in the development of XXXX relationships.

5. MIDDLEBURY POTENTIAL

XXXX, as she so eloquently stated, has been given the best of both worlds in that she's American, but has a XXXX understanding and perspective on the world. She wants to collect as many perspectives as possible and study how people interact with each other. XXXX told me that she thinks that at Middlebury she can be a "connector of different people" because of her diverse background. She also said that she is, "empathetic to how people behave based on their own cultures." She told me that no matter what obstacle is in front of her, she perseveres and has a positive personal outlook. She sets goals and tries to reach them. XXXX loves languages, wants to contribute her global knowledge to the student body of Midd and loves that she could study geography, economics and languages in one place. She specifically mentioned that Middlebury is the only school that has the program she wants to attend. XXXX visited Middlebury both as a kid when her father attended Midd language school (XXXX) and more recently as part of a college tour and info session. She said it was snowing in April when she visited Middlebury, but that it was very exciting!

How did the student learn of Middlebury?

I believe she learned of Middlebury through her father

6. RATINGS

Academic Depth/Passion: One of the top few I have encountered

Extracurriculars: One of the top few I have encountered

Personal: One of the top few I have encountered

7. FINAL REVIEW

Overall Rating: 7

Comments:  This is a read where you cannot help but feel impressed by the encounter and the student. The interviewer does a wonderful job of expressing important details and giving us a better sense of who she is as a person. Her motivations, desires, feelings of connectedness to certain ideas or activities. This is the type of write-up that could make us more excited about a student who is on the fence. The interviewer gives us concrete examples and anecdotes that inform the overall impression of the student. A balance of observation and evaluation makes this 7 a wonderful read.

Overall Rating: 6

1. THE APPLICANT

Mature, thoughtful, reflective, genuine. XXXX’s responses to questions about his high school experiences and college aspirations reflected depth of intellect. XXXX is very genuine. There was no indication of canned responses that you so often hear in these types of interviews where you feel that the candidate is saying what they think you want to hear versus what they actually believe and how they actually feel. His comments about the benefits and downsides of attending an all boys school (and his experience at the XXXX, which provided a co-educational experience for a semester) were well-stated, showed real reflection, and suggested XXXX can equally incorporate his heart and his head in making a point. When asked about what he would change at XXXX, he discussed the honor code and what appeared to be less than fully consistent interpretation and application of it. When discussing what he would have done differently if he could re-live his first three years of high school, he shared that he would have gotten to know more of his classmates better earlier. A number of his friendships from school were developed recently with classmates whom he hadn't interacted with much before senior year.

2. ACADEMIC/INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES

XXXX has challenged himself with a full course load of intensive, high level classes. Most of his senior classes are electives and include AP Shakespeare, AP Latin, AP government, A/B calculus, and honors physics. When asked to describe the academic experience (course,project, paper, etc.) that had the most profound impact on him, XXXX described a humanities course he took while at the XXXX in Vermont the fall semester of his junior year. He described the variety of readings (the unibomber's manifesto, an Austrian forester's autobiography, a book on neuroscience and personality, etc.), the small group discussions, and unique perspectives developed and shared by his classmates and teacher. He particularly valued the break from the traditional classroom structure and opportunity to learn from his peers. He also enjoyed the challenge of a different evaluation structure and described a final exam that involved describing how a selected wooded area had developed/changed/evolved over the last 200 years through observation of topographical, geological, and other natural features. XXXX is definitely more passionate about English and environmental studies (which he also pursued at the XXXX) than he is about math and science, but my sense is he probably applies himself and does well at most things.

3. EXTRACURRICULAR

XXXX is a prefect at XXXX for one of the ten houses that comprises the entire student body of the upper school. The prefect candidates are selected by peers and then vetted by the house faculty leaders. Prefects function as a liaison between the students and faculty and are intended to serve as role models. Some of the challenges XXXX has faced in this role revolve around school traditions that are popular amongst the students (and alums) but are deemed to be outdated or anachronistic by the school leadership. XXXX had a balanced view of these issues and understands the importance of maintaining tradition in a way that is not offensive or hurtful to anyone. XXXX runs cross country and track, and while not one of the standouts on either team, he enjoys the combination of individual effort and performance in a team context. Examples include supporting (and being supported by) team members who set personal records and traveling to the state cross country meet where he didn't run but cheered his teammates on in a rare appearance by the school's cross country team. XXXX is also the senior editor of the year book and heavily involved in an organization and memorial fund established in the memory of a deceased alum to raise money and make grants to other organizations that impact young people, especially in the area of education. Examples of causes they have supported include a local charter school in inner city XXXX, a camp near XXXX that provides summer experiences for kids with physical challenges, and a XXXX school that needed additional funding to maintain a football program. The last one was after a passionate plea from a XXXX alum involved with the team describing the importance of the football program in providing a safe, team-oriented activity for kids in that neighborhood. XXXX spent his last summer working through a program that offered volunteer experiences at a variety of charitable organizations throughout greater XXXX including an urban garden that employs recent immigrants from Africa and helps them get grounded in XXXX. He enjoyed the exposure to a number of different organizations but was also frustrated by having to move from one to another just as he felt he was getting grounded. Next summer, he plans to be a counselor at a camp in XXXX that he attended for many years. XXXX is passionate about helping others, whether those in need or those seeking role models. I think XXXX will seek community service opportunities early in a Middlebury experience, whether it be in student volunteer opportunities on the campus or through outreach into the community (e.g. Big Brother).

4. ADDITIONAL QUALITIES

Although XXXX’s mother graduated from Middlebury, his father and oldest sister went to XXXX. Despite any real or perceived pressure to follow in their footsteps at XXXX, XXXX really feels that Middlebury is the right fit for him. I shared my similar experience of having two prior generations of XXXX grads on my dad's side of the family and having chosen Middlebury over XXXX. I view XXXX as one of the most qualified candidates I have interviewed over the years. And in XXXX’s case, Middlebury is his clear preference given his early application. I believe XXXX deserves serious consideration for early admission into Middlebury.

5. MIDDLEBURY POTENTIAL

XXXX wants to come to Middlebury because he believes it offers the characteristics that he values most at XXXX and views as important to his continued development, namely a connection to place and community, an opportunity to serve that community, easy access to outdoor opportunities, an encouragement of well roundedness, and the ability to forge relationships with his teachers. XXXX is fairly familiar with the college as evidenced by his knowledge of the required coursework. Consistent with his well thought out and communicated responses, XXXX shared that he had eliminated several schools from his search because of their total lack of required coursework. I expected to hear that he feared drifting too much in that type of environment, but instead he explained how his concern was about taking courses that he liked and was familiar with and not venturing out enough early in his college career to identify latent but unrecognized academic interests.

6. RATINGS

Academic Depth/Passion: Outstanding

Extracurriculars: Excellent

Personal: One of the top few I have encountered

7. FINAL REVIEW

Overall Rating: 6

Comments:  This is an example of a write-up is rich in detail, and that can help the interaction come alive when balanced with personal insights or evaluations. We learn about his excitement about Vermont with his choice to be a camp counselor in the state, and his connection to Middlebury, but more importantly why he sees a fit here. This feels like someone who truly wants to attend Middlebury. His activities outside of school illuminate many facets of his personality and you learn that he is a community builder, active in a variety of areas, and capable of making an impact on his chosen community. Interviewer gives top remarks and seriously endorses. Reads like a very nice 6.

Overall Rating: 5

Alumni Interviewer Report Form

Candidate's Name:  XXXX

Interview Type:  Face to Face

 1. THE APPLICANT

XXXX is a driven and compassionate young man. XXXX grew up in the XXXX and attended a public elementary and middle school, XXXX, for the majority of his academic career. He then was accepted to a private high school in XXXX. XXXX says this was a challenge, but is now excelling in this environment. He shows compassion in his extracurricular projects, specifically with Boy Scout work.

2. ACADEMIC/INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES

XXXX attended a NYC public school in the XXXX from grades K-8. He was then accepted to a program that provided guidance and funding to private high schools. XXXX now attends XXXX Prep High School, where his sister also attended. To attend this school, XXXX makes over an hour commute each way on public transportation. XXXX reports that this was initially a great adjustment from his public middle school. The classes at XXXX were more rigorous and it took him extra time to catch up to his peers. He now feels like he has overcome this challenge. He is enrolled in AP Calculus, AP Biology, Spanish, and Intro to Psychology. This seems like a standard course load for a senior at his high school. XXXX shows great interest with a liberal arts education. He is unsure of his immediate academic path and feels that the liberal arts curriculum at Middlebury would help him explore more interests.

3. EXTRACURRICULAR

XXXX’s most significant extra-curricular is his involvement in Boy Scouts. He is currently a "Life Scout" that is working on his "Eagle Scout" project. For this project, he is committed to 200 hours of service. His project is very much aligned with the ideals of Middlebury. He is working with a teacher at his high school who is a partner with an organization in XXXX, XXXX. This organization helps provide flashlights and plant cocoa trees in communities with high need after the earthquake. XXXX is working with his troupe to raise money to purchase over 100 flashlights to send to XXXX. XXXX also has a passion for photography. He is the co-president of his school photography club. He has also participated in several photography classes, including AP Photography.

4. ADDITIONAL QUALITIES

During the interview XXXX was very professional and inquisitive. He asked several great questions. For example, he was very curious to learn more about both my favorite moments and some of the challenges that I faced while I was a student. Questioning is an essential skill for any Midd kid!

5.  MIDDLEBURY POTENTIAL

XXXX is very familiar with Middlebury. His sister, XXXX, is a current Sophomore in XXXX. Therefore, he has visited the campus a few times and has heard a lot about the programs at Midd. He shows a genuine interest in languages and international studies. He plans to continue his studies in Spanish and would take advantage of Middlebury's study abroad programs. I think that XXXX shows strength in his ability to transition positively from the public school to private school setting. He was able to overcome this challenge and is now an active member of his high school community. XXXX is a strong candidate for Middlebury. He is excited about his potential to grow in the Middlebury community. He would take advantage of the liberal arts curriculum and experiment in finding his academic passions

Has the candidate visited Middlebury? Yes

How did the student learn of Middlebury? His sister, XXXX

6. RATINGS

Academic Depth/Passion: Excellent

Extracurriculars: Very good

Personal: Excellent

7. FINAL REVIEW

Overall Rating: 5

Comments:  The interviewer does a wonderful job rooting his evaluation of the applicant in observations from the interview. Instead of just telling us that the applicant is driven and compassionate, the interviewer tells us what the applicant said/did that led him to those descriptions. He continues to provide a nice balance of objective and subjective comments throughout the write up. For example, the interviewer lists the courses the applicant is taking and then relates his feeling that this is “a standard course load for a senior at his high school.” In the same manner, the interviewer describes the applicant’s Boy Scout involvement before stating that the applicant’s Eagle Scout project aligns nicely with Middlebury’s values. The write up is thorough without overwhelming us with excessive detail, and it is clear that this was a solid interview and falls in line with the criteria for a 5-rated interview. Looking at this write up from a more general point of view, it’s essentially the perfect length. Each section was carefully addressed in a concise but detailed manner, making the final write up easy for a counselor to digest as part of a much longer application.

Overall Rating: 3

Alumni Interviewer Report Form

Candidate's Name:  XXXX

Interview Type:  Face to Face

1. THE APPLICANT

I reached out to XXXX last Thursday to inquire about his interest in an alumni interview. Following the Middlebury AAP protocol, when XXXX did not respond after two days, I introduced myself to him via text in the morning and encouraged him to check his email for information regarding an interview. He responded the following night at 10 pm and inquired about my availability, which I had included in my email. He neglected to respond to my email or acknowledge that he had received it when I asked. After our interview, to genuinely determine whether or not XXXX students check their school email I asked whether or not XXXX had received my email. He replied, "Yeah, I got it, but I figured text was easier." Please forgive my candor as I provide my evaluation of this candidate. When I think of XXXX, the words "squash player", "entitled", "tall in stature", "well-rounded", “automobile enthusiast” (driving his father’s collection of cars), and "athletic" come to mind. As someone who interviews candidates, albeit middle school-aged girls and their parents, as a profession, I can honestly say that I rarely encounter a candidate from this community who does not make a concerted effort to mask privilege. This was not the case with XXXX.

2. ACADEMIC/INTELLECTUAL QUALITIES

XXXX made very little effort to prepare for this interview and did not speak very effusively about any of his academic or extracurricular interests. It was hard to determine XXXX’s depth of intellectual curiosity because he did not express a passion for any particular subject that he discussed with me. XXXX does enjoy engineering and informed me that he has completed four years of engineering classes, thus far, at XXXX. XXXX finds his statistics class to be relatively “easy” and, when asked, told me he would most likely pursue a math class should he attend Middlebury. Most of the Middlebury candidates I interview have taken time to either look through the Middlebury website or conduct some research. They typically volunteer this information unprompted. I did ask XXXX whether he had even remotely considered any college classes, and he replied, "I don't really know what I want to do, or what I might be interested in taking in college." He did not seem all that intrigued by any of the academic classes and did not have any questions about the program. XXXX also did not have any interest in attending classes during his recruitment visit. XXXX identified cars as an important interest of his. When I asked him about his love of cars, XXXX discussed the various luxury cars his father collects. In response to a question about XXXX’s experience with cars (given that he had taken four years of engineering, I assumed he enjoyed tuning up and/or working on cars ), he informed me that he simply enjoys driving his father’s XXXX and another automobile with a reputable brand. I had mistaken XXXX’s passion for driving cars for an interest in mechanics.

3. EXTRACURRICULAR

At one point during our conversation, XXXX informed me that he plays squash. When I asked XXXX whether or not he competed for XXXX, he told me that the number of students in the program had dwindled. He plays exclusively outside of school and expressed enthusiasm for his experience during an overnight recruitment trip at Middlebury. XXXX told me that he has been playing squash since the 6th grade. “My parents had a squash court built in our house, so we play a lot.” XXXX’s brother …shares his interest in squash. When I asked XXXX to describe his favorite extracurricular activities, he said rather nonchalantly something to the effect of, “Well, I’m not going to sit here and tell you I'm that kid who, like, reads a ton of books, plays violin, and volunteers in his free time. I mean, I don't have a lot of free time. I’m a squash player. I just like to hang out with my friends and play golf with my dad.” Beyond XXXX’s exceptional squash skills, I do not envision him contributing much else to the Middlebury community. I am certain there must be candidates with much stronger character than XXXX in this applicant pool.

4. ADDITIONAL QUALITIES

XXXX informed me that he is one of 5 children, and that his three older sisters all attended XXXX Academy. XXXX is coordinated with XXXX, so many of our families overlap. Students don't always join their siblings at XXXX or XXXX, but I did find it surprising that all three girls attended but XXXX and his twin did not. XXXX’s three older sisters attended XXXX, XXXX, and XXXX respectively. According to XXXX, he believes his eldest sister is trying to sell her paintings through Sotheby’s, his second sister works for a residential real estate company, and the third is trying to pursue a career in acting in LA. The XXXX’s seem like a very athletic family. One sister played golf in college and another played on her college lacrosse team. I believe XXXX may have mentioned that his father played collegiate sports.

5. MIDDLEBURY POTENTIAL

When I asked XXXX about his interest in Middlebury, he specifically remarked upon the school’s facilities. “I don’t know, I just really see myself at Middlebury,” XXXX replied.” It seems like the right school for me. Have you seen the Middlebury squash courts? The facilities are amazing," XXXX smiled. There are nine courts, there’s a fitness center…The only other school that compares in its squash courts is UVA. They recently built new courts,” XXXX explained. He enjoyed meeting the squash team and also enjoyed his experience at the Middlebury Grille. The few questions XXXX did have pertained to the size of the College and the rigor. As a student enrolled in a class of 500+ students, he understandably had some concerns about attending a small college. "Does Middlebury feel small as a student?" XXXX inquired about the work load and how manageable it is. He also wanted to know the degree to which A's are attainable at Middlebury. At one point, I discussed the writing center with XXXX, and he asked me whether tutors were available at the College. To be perfectly honest, this interview felt like a complete waste of time for both XXXX and me. I caught him glancing down at his phone a few times when I stood up. I was also a bit taken aback by his snarky remark about how he enjoys spending his free time. I have never had a candidate use sarcasm to trivialize the extracurricular activities (playing violin. reading, etc.) that some of our strongest candidates pursue outside of school. I cannot imagine why XXXX felt compelled to bring up his father's collection of cars. While XXXX was not outwardly rude or mean, there was just something about his tone and his attitude that were very off-putting to me.

Has the candidate visited Middlebury? Yes

How did the student learn of Middlebury?  Reputation

6. RATINGS

Academic Depth/Passion: Average

Extracurriculars: Good

Personal: Average

7. FINAL REVIEW

Overall Rating: 3

Comments:  This write up does a wonderful job going into the relevant details behind the interviewer’s low rating of the applicant. It starts out with a brief recap of their interactions prior to the interview, which isn’t always necessary but in this case gives us useful insight into the applicant’s personality before they even met for the interview. It’s especially helpful to have these details if the applicant was unusually difficult to get in touch with. The aspects of this less positive evaluation that make it the most helpful are the concrete examples backing up the interviewer’s opinions of the candidate. She paraphrased or quoted particularly noteworthy pieces of their conversation and pulled in a lot of details, which brought the candidate to life more than if we had just had a brief sentence with one-word descriptors. It also makes it clear that the interviewer put in the effort to be objective in her evaluation, as she shows us why she formulated the opinions that she did. Though it is lengthier than most write-ups, I do not feel as though it is too long. The comments for each section are complete but not repetitive, and it gives us a comprehensive understanding of how this applicant conducts himself.

Overall Rating: 2

Alumni Interviewer Report Form

Candidate's Name:  XXXX

Interview Type:  Face to Face


Academic: XXXX seemed like a nice guy, but he does not give off the intellectual curiosity vibe that seems to resonate in most Middlebury students. He's interested in Environmental science and Chinese, but seems to be all over the place. To me he seems as though he'd be a perfect candidate for a gap year. Not particularly mature, not particularly engaging intellectually.

Extracurricular: Enjoys martial arts and reading. No particular interest in being a leader in a group, but he did ask how difficult it would be to start a group on campus. He doesn't strike me as the type of person who would actually follow through on his desire to start a group on campus.

Additional Qualities: XXXX has lived in China and France. Speaks fluent Chinese and French. He spent his junior year on a "School Year Abroad" program in China. I liked his interest in all things international and his drive to get abroad at such a young age. He'd be interested in taking Arabic and Chinese at Middlebury and possibly spending his junior year back in China or at the Arabic school in Egypt.

Middlebury Potential: XXXX places Middlebury as #2 on his list of schools (behind UNC Chapel Hill). Remarkably, I think he'd fade into the student population at Middlebury-- hence his desire to study on a larger campus. He didn't say in particular why he wanted to come to Middlebury, he clearly hasn't done enough research. Couldn't remember if he interviewed at Middlebury, but he did do a tour with a student who was studying at the language schools last summer.

Overall Rating: 2

Comment: The above is a report that gives us insight into the student’s possible impact on campus.

Example of an Interview Report that does not give us much information

Alumni Interviewer Report Form

Candidate's Name:  XXXX

Interview Type:  Face to Face

Academic: XXXX looks forward to the opportunity to experience the intense summer language program in Arabic.

Extracurricular: XXXX is a three sport athlete. He has held internships in the legislative office of Senator XXXX.

Additional Qualities: XXXX spent significant time abroad during summers. He spent 8 years growing up in England.

Middlebury Potential: Language is his passion. He wants to live in the Arabic House so he can be immersed in the Arabic experience

Overall rating: 6

The above report is too cursory to give us any information. We need more to justify the 6 rating, and there is nothing here that is new or different from the Common Application.

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E-mail:
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